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taza #1154

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01
Noritake China April Cook N Serve Teacup ¿dónde consigo la taza? My Eclectic Heart  

teapot #149

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01
Details from Willow / colección Teapot diseño by Richard Brendon

taza #1153

Tea & Co. - Sun, 12/29/2013 - 16:01
Details from Willow / colección Teacup diseño by Richard Brendon

Pre-Qing Ming White Peony, a rare treat

Red Circle Tea - Sun, 06/10/2012 - 02:01

When you consider the perfect balance of taste, tea liquid color, and processing it’s undeniable: White Peony is one of the simplest, most elegant teas around. White Peony comes from the “Large White” varietal from Fujian.

This tea is picked with the downy bud and first leaf attached. Occasionally, you’ll see the bud with two leaves.

This tea is very delicate and is handled very gently during all stages of processing to preserve bud and leaf shape, and to avoid the bruising that would create undesired changes in taste.

White Peony has a high fragrance and top dry notes of muscat. This tea is sublime in the morning to wake up to, refreshing in the afternoon, or after any meal.

With sweet middle notes of tangerine and base notes of fresh hay, this tea has a clean taste and soothing qualities. White teas have the least oxidized leaves and buds and therefore offer the most anti-oxidants of all teas. This tea is from an unusually early picking and was picked before the Qing Ming festival. This is the first time I’ve seen Pre-Qing Ming White Peony on the US market.  Because of this, it’s on the rare tea page, and is extremely reasonably priced. Check it out, along with Red Circle’s other rare teas here:  http://redcircletea.com/redcircleteas/black_rare/redcircleteas_black_rare.html

Tze Lan Heung, the Purple Orchid

Red Circle Tea - Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:03

Purple Orchid is one of the most famous of Dan Chong teas. To me it stood out this year as heads and shoulders above the dozens of Dan Chong Teas I tried, and that has a lot to do with its provinance and when it was picked. This Purple Orchid DC was picked before April 4th, before the Qing Ming festival honoring ancestors who have passed. The date is marked on every farmer’s almanac as the beginning of the picking season. But, in rare years, under special circumstances tea buds earlier, and if the weather is just right, and the picking and processing are just right, you wind up with an exceptional tea. This is such a tea. The dry leaves have notes of lichee and purple grapes. But this tea has great character.

 

Wet and warm the leaves, and a surprise is waiting. Notes of dry sweet almond are evoked, nutty and slightly spicy.

The aroma of the steeping tea fills the room.

The resulting cup is creamy, caramely and nutty, and reminds me of sitting in a restaurant and a waiter passes by with another guests desert of freshly caramelized flan.

This is a sumptuous tea, indulgent and relaxing.  Check out all the Dan Chong Oolongs here: http://redcircletea.com/redcircleteas/oolong/redcircleteas_oolong.html

 

Spring Crop Long Jing

Red Circle Tea - Wed, 05/30/2012 - 01:19

Long Jing – or Dragon’s Well. There really is a well at the top of Shi Feng peak in Long Jing Village outside of Hangzhou, China. Shi Feng (Lion’s Peak) is where the best Dragonwell comes from. The soil is sandier, it slows the uptake of minerals and results in a delicate taste and high fragrance indicative of the best teas this area has to offer.

So how do you judge good tea – how do you know what you’re looking at?  Well, when you evaluate Long Jing tea, first look at the dry leaves: They should be uniform, straight (not splayed) and the best are slightly yellow.

 

 

Have a look at a first steeping of these leaves.

And the liquid is a perfect light yellow green color and the consistency is like silk.

The classic flavor profile of this tea is sweet chestnuts and a gentle green bean taste with high notes of sweet grass and springtime on a mountain (I’m not sure that’s a flavor, or aroma, but I’ve smelled it standing in a tea field, so I’m going to go with it). Think chlorophyll. Green, a life-force taste of freshness. The flavor lingers gently for at least an hour in your mouth, and this tea gives more steepings than a normal green tea, it will steep 6 – 7 times in a gong fu clay pot and 5 – 6 times in a Gaiwan.

This year’s Pre-Qing Ming harvest festival tea is rock solid. This is the kind quality of Long Jing tea you have come to expect from Red Circle Tea – absolutely the best on the US market. Period. If by some horrible coincidence, you haven’t had the Long Jing I buy, may I humbly suggest you make this investment in the following: your tea drawer will thank you, your palate will thank you, your friends will thank you- should you be magnanimous enough to share – which you should be: great tea is meant to be shared.  But you will get the deepest thanks and return on investment from your tea education.  There is only one way to learn tea, through drinking it. Sure, you can talk to educators to learn about tea, ceremonies, specifics like soil content and elevation, but really learning to take tea into your culinary repertoire requires that you drink it.  And on occasion you must make an investment in that learning process.  You must drink good tea at some point to really appreciate tea.  If you drink tea, if you want to know tea, if you appreciate tea; you can understand this tea by tasting it. And I cordially invite you to do just that!

Pre-Qing Ming Dragonwell (Long Jing) is available for sale right now at:  http://redcircletea.com/redcircleteas/green/redcircleteas_green.html

Tea Review: Hampstead Tea Earl Grey

It's All About the Leaf - Mon, 05/07/2012 - 15:02

Category: Black Tea Company: Hampstead Tea (website) Ingredients: Fairtrade black tea, natural oil of bergamot Vendor Suggested Preparation: Use one sachet or level teaspoon of tea leaves per person. Brew with freshly boiled water and infuse for up to three minutes

This tea has possibly one of the most well-described packages I have ever seen. The single teabag package reads: “Hamstead Tea, London. Organic Fairtrade Earl Grey with aromatic bergamot. 1 staple-free teabag.”

Wow, that is quite a mouthful. I personally do not know anyone who buys teabags who is also concerned about saving some metal, but by the look of the string attached to the teabag, it makes me wonder why more teabag-producers do not follow this. It seems that Hamstead has implemented an easy way to do away with stables entirely. But how about the tea itself?!

The packaging recommends 3-5 minutes for steeping. The last earl grey that I tried oversteeped even with low steep times, so I boil some water and decide to go for the lower end here with 3 minutes of infusion. While I will admit that I am not big on bagged tea, this tea smells quite good, dry in the bag. A hint of orange provides a nice aroma. The steeping tea gives off a pleasant bergamot aroma. The first sip confirms that 3 minutes was a perfect amount of steeping, unless you prefer your tea stronger. For a bagged tea, this is pretty smooth, but it lacks a bit in the flavor profile. This is definitely a quality bagged tea. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give it a 65/100.

You can purchase the Biodynamic, Organic and Fairtrade Earl Grey directly from the Hampstead Tea website.

Tea Review: Tea Forte Earl Grey

It's All About the Leaf - Mon, 04/30/2012 - 14:03

Category: Black Tea Company: Tea Forte (website) Ingredients: organic Indian Assam black tea, natural orange flavor, natural bergamot flavor, organic cornflower blossoms Vendor Suggested Preparation: Steep for 3-5 minutes, 208degF

From the moment at which I remove the pyramid infuser from its cardboard cover, I know there is something different about this Earl Grey. The smell of bergamot is not very strong. In fact, it is hardly present at all. Popping the infuser into my Tea Forte Cafe Cup, I fill the cup with just boiled water and let it steep for four minutes…a happy medium in the 3-5 minute range that was given by Tea Forte’s website!

The tea being now prepared, I take a whiff of the steeping, once again surprised by the smell. It is spicy with a bit of a fruity smell. Intrigued, I go on to try this cup of tea, sip by sip. My first sip is possibly the most astringent Earl Grey I have ever tasted! The bergamot is finally hinted at in the aftertaste, but the tea itself is so incredibly astringent that I wonder if I mistimed this tea. I ditch this cup and prepare to steep a new one.

This second cup I steep for only two and a half minutes. I know this is less than what was suggested, but I figure it is better to be safe. This second cup still smells exactly the first one, which worries me slightly, but I forge onward with this tasting! Still astringent, even after such a short steep time. But it is not as bad as the first cup was. The bergamot flavor is very fake and overdone, which is a bit of a turn-off, considering that this is supposed to be Earl Grey, not cologne.

If hunting for a cup of Earl Grey, this is not the tea to which to turn. I recommend trying a different brand. Sorry, Tea Forte, but this tea needs to go back to the mixing room. On my personal enjoyment scale, I would give it a 45/100.

You can purchase the Earl Grey directly from the Tea Forte website.

Joe Clare on Tea Packaging

Cha-Cha-Cha Adventures With Tea - Thu, 02/16/2012 - 22:49

Joe Clare, owner of Edmonton’s Massage Therapy Supply Outlet, doesn’t approve of the new tea stir stick single packaging. Here he is telling all about it.

Sip Tea With James Norwood Pratt & Support The American Botanical Council

The Meaning of Tea Blog - Sat, 10/22/2011 - 13:21

Join the instigator of America’s Tea Renaissance, James Norwood Pratt for a cup of  Golden Monkey tea at our meaningful tea-inspired gathering.

Author James Norwood Pratt has been educating others about the world of tea for thirty years. Our acknowledged Tea Sage, he is quite possibly the world’s most widely read authority on tea and tea lore. His most recent books are JNP’s Tea Dictionary and The Ultimate Tea Lover’s Teas.

 

The Meaning of Tea® invites guests to a meaningful tea-inspired gathering at Ramscale West Village Lofts in New York City on November 3rd, 2011, to benefit the nonprofit herbal research and education organization, the American Botanical Council. To thank our newsletter subscribers, we are offering a special 50% discount on tickets. Simply enter the code “tea” during the checkout process.

Golden Monkey black tea has been hand-selected from one of the most ancient tea-growing regions, the Yunnan Province of China. Named after its golden brown, fuzzy buds, this refreshing tea is rich and malty with a hint of fruit and a brisk aftertaste.

 

Try Golden Monkey or one of  The Meaning of Tea’s other teas during our Cool Weather Promotion: Save 25% on your total order when you purchase 2 teas or 35% when you purchase 3 teas. Offer good until 12/3/11   

tea: a living expression of eastern philosophy

Teanamu - Fri, 03/18/2011 - 10:30
Chachan Yiwei 茶禅一味 (tea zen one flavour) is the motto of teahouses like teanamu Chaya, now open Sat/Sun 12-6. At our new Chaya teahouse, we're using the Gongfu Cha ritual - it lends a Zen quality to our tea drinking. Fill the tea cup, empty the mind and getting out of your own way. Restoring the natural function of mindfulness, imagining swaying bamboo in a gentle breeze, tea-drinking for the soul! 'Let our tea cup be an extension of our hand': a touch of Zen mindfulness.

teahouse culture

Teanamu - Fri, 03/11/2011 - 10:22
Ancient legend of teaseller accused of being witch! She flew from her cell in dead of night tkg her tea urns with! The Tang dynasty capital was chockfull of teahouses, tea pavilions, tea societies. A wonderful era! The Song dynasty saw beautifully decorated tea houses with calligraphy hangings & bonsai plants. Singers & storytellers in Ming teahouses told gripping tales of the 108 heroes from the Water Margin. Some Qing teahouses reserved a table 4 a wise old sage to whom people wd bring grievances & disputes.

What's To Come in 2011

TeaAmigos - Sun, 01/16/2011 - 03:38

Well it's a new year, and that means it's time for change.  The TeaAmigos have come up on some CRAZY things in the past couple of months, so expect to see some changes very soon.  We want to thank all of our loyal fans for the past year of great tea and comments.  You've all been steeping well.  Within the next couple of weeks, you will see a revamp of our site, with more tea than ever, even a new partnership???  Stay tuned, yakwii.

Ali Shan Oolong Tea

Tea Escapade - Tue, 10/12/2010 - 14:21
Fall is here.  The leaves are changing, the sun comes up later, and the mornings are cooler. Although I drink hot tea year round, it is during this time of the year that a hot cup of tea is even more appealing.  As my grandmother used to say… “it warms my bones,” which is wonderful [...]

Ginger, Peach & Apricot Tea

Tea Escapade - Sat, 09/18/2010 - 04:47
As I sat down to write today’s tea review of Ginger, Peach & Apricot, I began to think about fear… Often fear keeps us from following our passion. I know I have been there and many others as well, spending time maintaining the status quo instead of venturing out to tackle something they really love. [...]

Visiting the Birthplace of Japanese Tea

Tea Escapade - Sun, 09/12/2010 - 05:35
The history of Japanese tea begins with the birth of Japanese culture over a thousand years ago in the country’s ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto. Though today the region produces only 3% of the tea in Japan, Ujicha, named after the city of Uji just south of Kyoto, is the most sought after tea [...]

Yoga & Tea Gathering

Tea Escapade - Wed, 09/08/2010 - 19:58
Release… Connect… Renew… Finally, the long-awaited Yoga & Tea Gathering at Grace Tree Studio! Combining the ancient disciplines of yoga and chado (the way of tea), we present a truly unique opportunity to explore their convergent paths. A gentle grounding yoga practice will release stress and tension, reconnecting you with your center and focusing your [...]

Not Too Steep

Tea Escapade - Tue, 08/24/2010 - 20:28
By Laura Yeh http://www.stlocarina.com We’ve all done it — poured hot water over our bag or leaves of Sencha or Gunpowder, then walked away to take care of a small chore, grab the newspaper or make a quick phone call. Twenty minutes later we walk back into the kitchen and see it — remember it [...]

Tea Stove – Tea Poem

Tea Escapade - Sat, 07/31/2010 - 19:09
Stone stove left behind by immortals, Lies crooked in the center of the stream. Tea finished, two boats drift on abreast, Tea smoke; wafting delicate fragrance. ~ Zhu Xi Subscribe to the comments for this post? Share this on del.icio.us Digg this! Post this on Diigo Post on Google Buzz Add this to Mister Wong [...]

BOngo Matcha Smoothie

Tea Escapade - Fri, 07/30/2010 - 20:43
It’s a fact that I love tea – I don’t think anyone would argue that point. However, I’m also a blender and love making fruit smoothies. So to foster my love for both, I began drinking Orange-Mango-Banana Vivanno Smoothies with a shot of matcha from Starbucks.  Being the blender that I am, I thought – [...]
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